Its name derives from a Lublin district called Majdan Tatarski, and was given it in 1941 by the locals, who were certainly aware of its existence. The original German name of the camp was "Konzentrationslager Lublin" (Concentration Camp Lublin).
At its peak operation, it held about 50,000 inmates. In the early months of 1942, plans were made and approved to expand Majdanek to contain as many as 250,000 inmates. Between April 1942 and July 1944, extermination took place in Majdanek using gas chambers and crematoria. The estimated number of deaths is 85,000, including Jews, Soviet POWs and Poles.
Majdanek provided slave labor for munitions works and the Steyr-Daimler-Puch weapons factory.
The camp was liquidated in July 1944, but was only partially destroyed by the time the Red Army arrived. Although 1,000 inmates were evacuated on a death march, the Red Army found thousands of inmates still in the camp and ample evidence of the mass murder that had occurred there.
Monument at Majdanek Memorial. It contains ashes of
human bodies found around the concentration camp
Sources and further reading